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Hampstead and Town of Mont Royal residents vote for change

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WATCH: Questions and concern surrounding urban development have been a central focus in several neighbourhoods around the city.That debate may have been the deciding factor behind the results in two Montreal municipalities on Monday, where new mayors were elected. As Global’s Phil Carpenter reports, for some residents it was about finding politicians who will listen. – Nov 8, 2021

Questions surrounding development have been a central focus in several neighbourhoods around the Montreal area.

That debate may have been the deciding factor in two municipal elections on the island, where new mayors were elected for the Town of Mont Royal (TMR) and Hampstead.

Businessman Peter Malouf was elected mayor in TMR, beating rival Michelle Setlakwe.

Malouf ran on a campaign pushing for change.  Mayoral candidate Philippe Roy had been in office since 2010.

“I listened to so many different residents with different needs and different concerns that haven’t been listened to really over the past 12 years,” he told Global News.

Read more: Royalmount project remains controversial ahead of upcoming election

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Two issues dominated talk on the streets of TMR during the campaign.

One plan involves increased densification around Rockland shopping centre with more apartment buildings and condos.  There’s also the Royalmount commercial project which calls for the adding of a residential component in an area zoned for commercial and industrial.

Malouf argues both projects would cause traffic and congestion nightmares in the garden city.

“The beauty of our town, it’s an oasis surrounded by a concrete jungle in Montreal,” he said.

It’s something residents like Jean Moutran say they value.

“When you live in TMR you want to live in a quiet, peaceful place,” he stressed.

In Hampstead, another garden town, issues of development and densification also took centre stage.

Read more: Debate over future of Côte-Saint-Luc Road heats up Hampstead election campaign

Political newcomer Jeremy Levi turfed four-term mayor William Steingberg, taking 55 percent of the vote.  Levi believes he won was because the incumbent was pushing for 10-storey apartment buildings on Côte-Saint-Luc Road.

“I’m very confident that’s what basically decided the election,” he said.

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Levi has ruled out any plans for 10-storey apartments on the street  Steninberg’s plan would have meant demolishing existing moderate-income apartments.

With Levi’s win, some tenants say they feel now their voices will be heard.

“It’s a moral duty for a city to have some affordable housing,” Côte-Saint-Luc Road tenant Patrick Demers

Voters in both towns now wait to see how these new administrations decide to proceed with the development projects in question.

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